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Full text of "A history of Persia"

SHAH HUSAYN.

CHAPTER LXVI
THE   DECLINE   OF   THE   SAFAVI   DYNASTY
Un Aide des Ceremonies conduisit 1"Ambassadeur. II le fit descendre de
cheval a cent pas environ du grand Portail et le mena fort vite au Sallon ou
etoit le Roi. Le Capitaine de la porte le prit la, et le conduisit au baiser des
pieds du Roi. Ce Salut se fait en cette sorte. On mene FAmbassadeur k
quatre pas du Roi vis-a-vis de lui, ou on Tarrete, et on le met i genoux, et
on lui fait faire trois fois un prosternement du corps et de la tete en terre,
si bas, que le front y touche. L'Ambassadeur se releve apres, et delivre la
lettre qu'il a pour le Roi au Capitaine de la porte qui la met dans les mains
du Roi, et le Roi la met a cote* droit sans la regarder. On mene ensuite
TAmbassadeur i la place qui lui est destined.—CHARDIN, iii. 221.
The Cause of the Decline.—Few dynasties have lived
so long and so successfully upon their reputation as did
that of the Safavis after the death of Shah Abbas. To
some extent their great monarch must be held responsible
for the degeneracy of his successors, since by his orders
they were brought up in the anderun among eunuchs and
women, and not trained to arms, as had been invariably
the custom until it was altered by the imperious old man.
It is obvious that by this change he hoped to avoid the
risk of being killed by a capable member of his own
family, and he either failed to realize, or was indifferent
to, the inevitable results of the new system.
The policy succeeded only too well, and throughout
a second century, during which the dynasty continued to
rule Persia, there was no able monarch to sit on the
throne of his ancestors. Yet, owing to the reverence
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